18 February 2015

THE GIRLS FROM ALCYONE III, Codename: White Princess


Posting from my WiP
THE GIRLS FROM ALCYONE III:
Codename White Princess

The Girls From Alcyone is the continuing story of two very special young women who find themselves at the heart of a conflict spanning more than forty worlds.

It's been a long time since I've posted any snippets. The big problem with this book is finding snippets that don't act as complete spoilers. Many things have happened to Sigrid since we last saw her on Bellatrix. Here's a small sampling.




The thunderhawk was gone, disintegrated. The ground where it crashed was blackened and charred. Unspent fuel lay burning in wide puddles. Piles of burning wreckage lay strewn everywhere.
They were dead. All of them. Yet she had survived.
Sigrid understood. She was designed to survive—at all costs. The Kimura Corporation had made her this way. Her other memories might have been stolen, but this singular knowledge they had left with her: she was a killer, she was a weapon, and that was something they would never let her forget. 
Sigrid screamed, driving her fist into the ground. If they wanted killing, then she'd be more than happy to oblige. She would kill them all.


Don't forget to check out snippets from other SFFS authors here: scififansat.blogspot.ca

SciFi Fantasy Saturday is a web-ring of fab SciFi & Fantasy writers and posters. All are welcome to join and participate. In fact, join and participate! Fifteen sentences every Saturday is all it takes.

Cheers, Cary!

16 June 2014



Huntfortomorrow

THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW

22 AUTHORS. 3 DYSTOPIAN BOXED SETS. 1 MASSIVE EVENT.

A virtual scavenger hunt through twenty-two fictional dystopias.

Friday, July 18 at 6:00pm (EST) - Sunday, July 20 at 6:00pm (EST).

Join THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW, an on-line scavenger hunt, and embark on a virtual odyssey through twenty-two dystopian futures. Become an intrepid scavenger and solve clues at each of the dystopian author stops as you navigate your way to the finish line where you’ll be entered into a random draw for the Grand Prize. For each correct answer collected along the way you’ll get an additional chance to win. During The Hunt, the authors will offer up their own exclusive material, sneak peeks, contests, and giveaways at their individual stops on The Hunt, giving all scavengers multiple chances to win bonus prizes.

The twenty-two participating indie authors include best-selling, award-winning and emerging writers from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom who all have books included in three dystopian boxed sets - - What Tomorrow May Bring, A Taste Of Tomorrow, and Shattered Worlds.

In a unique collaboration of story-telling, nineteen of the authors will write a progressive short story over nineteen days following The Hunt. The Grand Prize Winner of The Hunt For Tomorrow will name characters and contribute the title for this dystopian world, and all participants in The Hunt will receive an advance copy of the story for an exclusive period before it is made available as a free download. The Grand Prize also includes a signed copy of books included in the boxed sets, an ebook of all the boxed sets, and the first copy of this one-of-a-kind progressive story.

THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW begins at http://huntfortomorrow.blogspot.com on Friday, July 18 at 6:00pm (EST) and ends on Sunday, July 20 at 6:00pm (EST). The Hunt is on for one weekend only, although there is no time-limit for completing the course. The Hunt is open to scavengers around the world; there is no cost to enter and one grand prize winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries.

Go to THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW for details and the full list of participating authors.

JOIN THE HUNT. JULY 18-20.


book blast button







Blast Giveaway


$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 7/20/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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28 May 2014

WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING BLOG SERIES: Q&A with Shelbi Wescott



Q&A Hot Seat

What Tomorrow May Bring
The YA Dystopian Box Set


For those following my blog, you might notice I've become involved with this anthology collection of dystopian science-fiction, What Tomorrow May Bring. Each week I'm featuring either a blog contribution or interview by each of the eleven authors from the anthology.

Today, author Shelbi Wescott, author of Virulent: The Release takes the hot seat for this Q&A . The questions were provided by Deborah Rix, author of  External Forces (and fellow contributor to What Tomorrow May Bring).

Enjoy!






WHAT IS THE FIRST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?
I remember reading The Boy Who Reversed Himself by William Sleator in 1989 during a cross-country road trip. We were driving from Oregon to Illinois and at the beginning of every driving day my mom gave me a new present to unwrap for that leg of the trip. While sitting in the parking lot of a hotel overrun with silverfish bugs in Keystone, South Dakota, I received Sleator’s book and devoured it by the time we arrived in Cedar Rapids.
Fourth dimensions, scary monsters, and something to do with ketchup as the best thing ever? I grew up in science-fiction loving house, but this is the first time I remember thinking of all the possibilities the genre offered—and it was a genuine way to escape the monotony of a drive through the Plains States.
ANY MOVIE, ANY BOOK…WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ANTAGONIST?
This is such a fascinating question and I’m sorry, I’m so sorry…I can’t limit it to one. So, here are my favorite antagonists, plural:
- Amon Goeth from Schindler’s List: Watching him on screen portrayed by Ralph Fiennes was the first time I had a visceral reaction to a person in a movie. He gave me a stomachache and I had to close my eyes; I was terrified of him, and even more sickened by the fact that he wasn’t an invention—this was a real man, a true monster.
- Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter: I’m big on justice and the INJUSTICE of her reign at Hogwarts sent me into a rage. I needed her to be a real person somewhere in the world, so I could travel there and punch here in the face.
- Honorable mentions: Johnny from Karate Kid; John Doe from Se7en; Mr. Burns from The Simpsons; Scar from the Lion King; Hans Grubar from Die Hard; Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life; Annie Wilkes from Misery.
IS THERE AN AUTHOR THAT YOU WOULD REALLY LIKE TO MEET?
I desperately want to have a lunch with Stephen King and Joe Hill. Actually, can it just be the whole family? I want to be invited to their Thanksgiving. Omg, can that happen? Can someone make that happen?
WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME? WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
I was born in Portland, Oregon, and that is also where I currently call home. I’ve always had dreams of taking my writing life and heading off to a small, noisy apartment in NYC, but that feels like I’m cheating on my first love. (But I am taking my whole family there this summer…to write…in a noisy apartment on the Upper West Side. Then I get to come home to Oregon. So, it’s the best of both worlds.)
The reality is Portland is a creative town with such amazing talent and a thriving arts community. I’m immensely proud of my city.
DO YOU EVER WRITE IN YOUR PJ’S?
There are people who don’t write in their PJS? Shameful.
WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
I’d always like to be a better writer—I read such talented stories and I’m insanely jealous of their wordsmithing abilities. But beyond that: I was fired by my piano teacher when I was eight or nine. She actually fired me and sat me on the porch to wait for my mom. So, I wish I could play the piano.
WHAT ARE YOUR PET PEEVES?
People who talk during movies; loud eaters; people who are rude to workers in service industries; bad tippers.
IF YOU HAD A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? AND IF YOU HAD TO GIVE IT UP TO SAVE NEW JERSY, HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN TO NEW JERSEY THEY WERE GOING TO DIE?
I want the super power from that TV show “Out of this World”: to stop time by touching my fingers. Just…pause! Unpause. Pause. Unpause. And, I would definitely avoid saying anything to anyone, and just slowly back away pretending like I didn’t understand. “What? New Jersey? Can’t hear you…”
WHY DIDN’T HURLEY LOSE ANY WEIGHT WHILE ON THE ISLAND?
Can we just pretend that this is the only thing that doesn’t make sense about that show? Because I was a LOST devotee (I had a Dharma Initiative party and replaced all the labels on the food with Dharma labels) and it’s too soon to talk about. Too soon.
ABOUT THE BOOK
HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THIS BOOK. DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?
My names are important because I name characters after my students as classroom management rewards. Is that strange? Like, “Hey. Stop talking during this quiz or I’m finding/replacing your character from this book. Don’t make me erase you.” Works like a charm.
WHERE DID YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?
There is a reservoir in Portland that is just open to the elements…recently a man peed in there and they had to drain the whole thing. (ADDENDUM: Last week’s Portland Must Boil Water fiasco because they found e-coli in the water? Same reservoir.) And it’s where a big chunk of Portland’s water comes from…so, this idea stemmed from a single thought, “How easy would it be…if a group was vast enough…to wipe out civilization by targeting water and air with bioterrorism?” From there, I had to invent and discuss the why. Why would someone want to do that? And then I thought of Noah and how the story there is that God wiped out the world to start over because people were awful. So, give someone a God complex, who wants to decide who is worthy to survive, and have him kill off the world? That is how Virulent took shape.
JUST HOW FAR IN THE FUTURE IS YOUR TOMORROW?
Tomorrow. Like…literally tomorrow. Today. Now. My book develops into a dystopian over the story arc. It starts as a post-apocalyptic tale that shows how our world could fall. I wanted it to feel realistic and scary.
DID YOU DO ANY SPECIFIC OR UNUSUAL RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOK?
Over the course of the trilogy, I have had to do some crazy research (firearms, bombs, bioterrorism). I’m on NSA lists. They don’t know what to make of me based on my Internet searches. 
QUOTE A CHARACTER, ANY CHARACTER.
"Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads."
Oh! You mean one of my characters?
Ms. Johnston says, “Hasn’t anyone told you? It’s the assholes who inherit the earth.”
WHO SHOULD NOT READ YOUR BOOK?
People who have rosy outlooks on human behavior in time of crisis. Seriously? You think everyone is going to band together and become instant do-gooders? I love people, but I don’t have a shred of faith in human nature when SHTF.
ARE ANY OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS FROM THE LGBT (LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER) COMMUNITY.
Absolutely. Actually, I got a one-star review because a reviewer didn’t want her pre-teen daughter reading about a woman who had a wife. [Insert eye-roll here] I like to wear that review like a badge of honor. So…we could add that into the “people who shouldn’t read my book” answer, too. If reading about humansbothers you…don’t read this book.
GIVE YOUR BOOK THE BECHDEL TEST
1. IT HAS TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO (NAMED) WOMEN IN IT
2. WHO TALK TO EACH OTHER
3. ABOUT SOMETHING BESIDES A MAN
My books (especially the trilogy as a whole) passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors. But I personally think the test should be harder to pass…let’s raise the bar!
WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?
Oh, wow. Yeah. Um. Seven billion people…




For more on the What Tomorrow May Bring box set, please visit us on Facebook, and  (of course!) check us out on Amazon where you can download your free sample to get reading.

And please visit the talented Deborah Rix (a fellow Canadian to boot).





16 May 2014

Dystopia Blog Series: Susan Kaye Quinn


On May 1st, we launched the new anthology box set, What Tomorrow May bring, a collection of ten YA dystopian novels and bonus chapters from eleven bestselling and up-and-coming Indy authors.

Today...

Meet Susan Kaye Quinn
fellow contributor to
What Tomorrow May Bring
The YA Dystopian Box Set



Dystopias - Forging Hope for Humanity
by Susan Kaye Quinn

I’ve always read dystopian novels, although I simply thought of them as “science fiction.” Stories like I, Robot and Foundation filled my spongy adolescent brain with concepts like the Three Laws of Robotics and how utopias couldn’t happen as long as the flawed nature of humanity still existed. This is where I first understood the term dystopia as what happened when humans tried to monkey with society to make it “better.” Not only did I enjoy the mental gymnastics that went with these (usually cautionary) tales, they seemed to be “equipment for living.” They influenced my young adult thoughts about the future—what it should be, and what it should not.
My novel Open Minds is a mild dystopia, although, as I wrote it, I thought of it more as a classic SF story. I sought to change one thing—what if everyone really could read minds?—and play it out. That turned into an exploration of how, as much as the world may change, human beings fundamentally remain the same.
I think this is the understructure of the current dystopian trend—classical science fiction retooled for our modern era and sensibilities. Dystopias are more than a simple reflection of our post-911 world, a mirror held up to our fears of environmental disasters, terrorism, and pandemic. Our modern world isn’t solely a bleak place—it also shines with aid flowing to natural disasters, soldiers building schools, and the rejection of hatred as an ideology. Most modern dystopias search through their dark fictional world for those threads of hope. They find someone who will rebel against the wrongness of the world and attempt to set it right, or a third way through two dire world-changing choices.

The ever-more complicated world we live in needs more of the thought experiments found in dystopian stories, rather than less. Hope is a fundamental part of being human, and stories that forge hope out of the most difficult situations are always the most compelling.
I write those stories, the ones with that persistent thread of hope, because those are the kind I want to read.

And the future I want to live in.
~*~

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Rk1UQOReGw8/Uw9cAFXFIII/AAAAAAAAH_8/HEF448ta4wU/s1600/Susan+Kaye+Quinn+300+pix.jpg
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction (and dystopian!). Her latest release is Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1) which is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial called The Debt Collector which has been optioned for Virtual Reality. That turns all her geeky gears! She always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can find out what she's up to by subscribing to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!). See all her books here.




13 May 2014

WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING BLOG SERIES #3: Q&A with David J Normoyle



Q&A With Debora Rix

What Tomorrow May Bring
The YA Dystopian Box Set


For those following my blog, you might notice I've become involved with this anthology collection of dystopian science-fiction, What Tomorrow May Bring. Each week I'm featuring either a blog contribution or interview by each of the eleven authors from the anthology.

Last week, we kicked things off with an interview with me, of all things. Today, author David J Normoyle takes the hot seat for this Q&A . The questions were provided by Deborah Rix, author of  External Forces (and fellow contributor to What Tomorrow May Bring).

Enjoy!






WHAT IS THE FIRST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?
Either the Foundation books by Issac Asimov, or Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Foundation is a really cool premise, where a giant inter galactic empire has formed and a mathematician is able to scientifically foresee its collapse, so he implements a plan to restrict the fallout. Ender’s Game is still one of my favorite books. Brilliant idea, perfectly executed.

ANY MOVIE, ANY BOOK...WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ANTAGONIST?
I’m going to go with one of the oldest villains of all time. Loki, the Norse trickster god, who is currently being excellently brought to life by Tom Hiddleston in the Avengers universe. I wrote a book that combined Norse and Greek myths, called Myth Weaver, and he was my favorite character to write in that.

WHEN YOU GO TO SEE A MOVIE, DO YOU TRY TO READ THE BOOK FIRST?
Yes, generally. Only if I have no interest in reading the book, will I’ll watch a movie based on a book without having read the book first. My list of movies -better-than-the-book is small but includes Schindler’s List, The Godfather and Silence of the Lambs. In the rest of the cases where I’ve read the book and watched the movie, the book is better.

DO YOU BUY A BOOK BY THE COVER?
It’s certainly a factor. If I don’t have a recommendation and I’m browsing on Amazon, then it’s the cover that will make me click on it to check out the blurb. The cover indicates the book’s genre. Once I’ve clicked, then the blurb/sample/reviews will decide whether I actually buy.

HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THIS BOOK. DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?
Not terribly important, but at the same time the name has to be the right one. Sometimes the first name I choose, will be the correct one, other times I have to keep trying until I find one that I’m happy with. 

DID YOU CHOOSE TO SELF-PUBLISH OR GO THE TRADITIONAL ROUTE? WHY?
Selfpublishing is the best way to go right now, and that’s only going to become clearer as time goes by. With a novel, ninety percent of what the reader cares about in the product comes from the author. The other 10% can be contracted out. So what does the publishing company do that means that they take the majority of the profits? They used to be essential when they controlled the distribution, but now that ebooks are starting to dominate fiction sales, the landscape is rapidly changing. I feel that traditional publishing will have to radically change if they want to stay relevant.
Of course that doesn’t mean the selfpublishing route is easy. Anything but.

JUST HOW FAR IN THE FUTURE IS YOUR TOMORROW?
Hundreds of thousands of years. Earth has been destroyed and the remnants of humanity have travelled across thousands of light years looking for inhabitable planets. Although, it’s actually in the far future, in a way, it’s also set in the past. That’s because this world has eschewed technology in the hope that they can avoid previous mistakes. So the technology level is medieval.

QUOTE A CHARACTER, ANY CHARACTER.
"My killing hand is a bit tired." Bowe shook his arm. "All that slashing and beheading—nothing like a bit of shopping to take your mind off the blood and gore. So, you have anything in Bellanger azure?"

GIVE US THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR YOUR TOMORROW.
It'll be hot in the morning, get hotter in the afternoon, then still be hot at night. Before long, it'll be so hot that the only way to survive will be to seek refuge in underground caverns, cooled by the sea.

WHO SHOULD NOT READ YOUR BOOK?
Those who would prefer a nice book without much death and violence. Those who would like a story and world that isn't too complex. 

YOU CAST YOUR CHARACTERS FOR A MOVIE. WHO MAKES IT?
That’s an easy one. Josh Whedon. I love his storytelling ability. I’m a huge Firefly fan--each time I watch it I’m ever more amazed that such a great show could have been canceled after one season. In virtually everything Whedon has done, he weaves character and plot, action and humor into a superb story.

WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR MAIN CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?
This is tougher. There are many great actors for older characters but not as many for teens. I would go with Asa Butterfield, who did a great job of showing Ender’s vulnerability in Ender’s Game. 

WHAT FIVE SONGS/ARTISTS WOULD FEATURE ON THE SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR TOMORROW?

Hurt, Johnny Cash
One, U2
The Whole of the Moon, Waterboys
Blister in the Sun, Violent Femmes
Rains of Castamere, The National




For more on the What Tomorrow May Bring box set, please visit us on Facebook, and  (of course!) check us out on Amazon where you can download your free sample to get reading.

And please visit the talented Deborah Rix (a fellow Canadian to boot).





9 May 2014

WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING BLOG SERIES #2: Author Jenni Merritt


On May 1st, we launched the new anthology box set, What Tomorrow May bring, a collection of ten YA dystopian novels and bonus chapters from eleven bestselling and up-and-coming Indy authors.

Today...

Meet Jenni Merritt
fellow contributor to
What Tomorrow May Bring
The YA Dystopian Box Set



What ‘dystopia’ means to me by Jenni Merrit


We, as such beautifully imperfect creatures, crave perfection.  We long for that perfect existence where everything is ideal and fair and safe.  So we try.  We create laws.  We enforce rules.  We embrace change, fight change, dream of change.  Then, when the bad things still happen, we question everything.  Can we make utopia?  Who knows if the answer will ever be found.  That is why we create dystopian stories.  To read, work out, understand and even enjoy the idea of society gone wrong.  Perfection would be too boring.  We need imperfection to fight, to live, to learn and grow.  

Dystopians are not only about society gone wrong.  They are about the people living in that society who choose to stand up and do something about their existence.  They are beautiful.  And imperfect.  Some fight and fail.  Others rise to the top and succeed.  And in the end, we all learn that even at its worse, life is worth living.  That is a dystopian.  And I love it.

PRISON NATION was inspired from one little moment that grew into an entire world.  Many say this story is frightening in the sense that so much of it is already happening.  Laws are intense and getting more strict every day.  Prisons are overfilled and growing.  We fear we have all lost control.  In PRISON NATION, that is the world.  Prisons and control and laws, all the way to the point that children are raised behind bars and freedom is just a dream.  So what would you do?  How would you survive in a world where near everything is illegal?  From an inspiration to a project to a debut novel, PRISON NATION is a journey I fell in love with every word of the way.  I hope you do too.


-Jenni





2 May 2014

WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING BLOG SERIES


On May 1st, we launched the new anthology box set, What Tomorrow May bring, a collection of ten YA dystopian novels and bonus chapters from eleven bestselling and up-and-coming Indy authors.

Today...

Meet David Estes
fellow contributor to
What Tomorrow May Bring
The YA Dystopian Box Set



What ‘dystopia’ means to me by David Estes


I love dystopian novels. And I don’t just mean The Hunger Games, although I love that one, too. I’ve read dozens of dystopian novels and I never seem to get tired of them. For me, dystopian novels capture so much of what makes reading awesome. They explore real social issues and imaginative futures that may be only decades, or even years, from coming to pass. They are dark and suspenseful and funny and interesting, and, most of the time, scary.


But what I love the most is that they almost always contain an element of hope. The characters, who are many times thrust into terrible situations, endure and persevere and usually accomplish what they set out to do, against challenging odds. Hope.

Do I think any of the themes in dystopian novels will actually come to pass? Absolutely. Hopefully not in my lifetime, or my children’s lifetimes, but bad things will happen and new heroes will have to rise to the forefront and meet the challenges of their day.


But for now, I’ll imagine my own futures and the heroes that live them, and do my best to entertain my readers with stories of hope. Starting with my first dystopian novel, The Moon Dwellers. For this series, I’ve created two different societies, one living underground (three books: The Moon Dwellers, The Star Dwellers, The Sun Dwellers), one living aboveground (three books: Fire Country, Ice Country, Water & Storm Country), which then come together in a final epic 7th Dwellers, where the characters and plot lines smash into one story. 

I hope you enjoy the dystopian world I’ve created!